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Oregon Family Magazine

Travel Tech

09/19/2012 15:19 ● By Anonymous
This summer, as you travel, you may be able to take some technology along with you. The great thing about apps and e-books is the amount of space they save in your bags! Whether you have an Android device, an Apple device, or even a computer, there are lots of tech choices. Here are some fun apps and e-books that you may want to consider loading up on your devices before you go, or even just for summer enjoyment around home.

Free Places to Find e-books:

Library2Go: Library2Go is a great resource. You will need a regular library card to check things out from Library2Go. Both Eugene and Springfield libraries participate. You can download books to read on most devices, or even on your computer. They have e-books, videos, and audio books. Make sure when selecting your books to select the correct platform for your device. Another helpful tip is to check the box that says “only show titles with copies available.” This way, you will find books you can actually check out. You can also place books on hold and they will e-mail you when the books become available. I find using a combination of both of these techniques works well and keeps me happy with plenty of reading material! Free with a library card:

Eugene Public Library: You need a Eugene Public Library card to access these. There are multiple links to e-books, Audiobooks, Videos, and Music. Includes encyclopedias, reference books, picture books, and music. Free with Eugene Public Library card:

Free e-books: Collections: This link takes you to Amazon and includes links to free classics on Amazon as well as links to other sites that offer free classic e-books. Be careful to turn off one-click ordering and help your child with Amazon so you don't inadvertently make purchases:

Free Nook Books: Here is a link to free Nook Books at Barnes and Noble:

Free and Fun:

For Android Users: Amazon has a free app every day! You'll have to screen them to see if they are good for kids and family or not, but a lot of them are entertaining and fun apps. You can find them here:

Scrabble: If you have kids that are old enough to play, Scrabble is a game that the whole family can enjoy! We've passed Scrabble around our car on multiple road trips. Free for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad: Free for Android devices with Google Play:

Madagascar--Join the Circus: A fun game where you get to build and simulate your own circus. One thing I would recommend is turning off your in app purchase feature in your general settings, so you don't accidentally buy tickets and bananas. I also turned off the push feature in the game because otherwise, the notifications happen extremely often. Free for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad:!/id518748978?mt=8

Stunt Bugs: Choose a bug and drive on to stunt victory! Grab some coins along the way. This one is just pure and simple fun and the bugs are super cute! Addictive! Free for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad: Also available for Android devices, but costs $1.99:

100 Floors: A fun, but sometimes extremely frustrating game. I could do some of the floors without help, but I definitely had to look up how to get past some of the floors. I still had a lot of fun with it though. Kids will probably enjoy talking to each other about how they beat the floors! Free for Apple devices: and Android devices:

Free and Educational:

PBS KIDS Video: Your kids can watch videos from their favorite PBS shows while on the road as long as you have a wireless connection. This one would be great while waiting for dinner, or for travel if you have mobile wi-fi. Free for the iPhone, iPod touch and the iPad:

Brain Quest: A fun and educational quiz game that features questions and answers for grades one through five on Apple devices. Also on the Apple devices the first four levels are free. It is also available for the Nook, but it seems that you need to buy it by grade level for the Nook. Links to both are available here:

Electric Company Wordball: Watch videos and catch the wordballs, then use them to shoot them at the words in another game. Nine different videos and games, includes Silent E and Hard and soft C. Fun and educational! Free for Apple devices:

Interactive and Fun Apps That Are Worth the Investment:

How Rocket Learned to Read – by Tad Hills: Based on the book by the same name, this book app is totally interactive and fun. Children can have the book read to them or read it to themselves. As children read through the book, they can interact with Rocket and touch the words to have them repeated. There are also two games that come along with the book as well—Bird's Words and Alphabet Drop. Fun for kids that are learning how to read and learning letters! For the iPad $4.99:

Wild About Books: Based on the story by Judy Sierra and featuring Marc Brown's illustrations, kid's will love tilting and swiping their way through this engaging reading adventure! Again, children can read the book or have it read to them. You can move each scene as you tilt your iPad! For the iPad, $4.99;

These apps are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more out there to be discovered. The world of e-books and apps moves lightning fast. Almost as soon as you master an app, or finish an e-book, another one is ready for your enjoyment. If you see one here and it isn't for the device you own, you can probably search around and find a similar app that will work on your device! So, load up your device and whether you are at home or on the road, enjoy all the fun new apps and e-books that are out there this summer!

Jennifer Galvin will be traveling with her e-books and apps this summer. You can find her on the web at